Husenbeth, Frederick Charles (DNB00)

HUSENBETH, FREDERICK CHARLES, D.D. (1796–1872), Roman catholic divine and author, born at Bristol on 30 May 1796, was the son of Frederick Charles Husenbeth, a wine-merchant in that city, and his wife Elizabeth James, a protestant lady of a Cornish family, who afterwards became a Roman catholic. The father, a native of Mentz in the grand duchy of Hesse, resided for some time at Mannheim as a teacher of the classics and languages. He came to England to learn the language, and the French revolution preventing his return to Germany, he settled in Bristol. He was an excellent musician, and was intimate with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The son was educated at Sedgley Park school, Staffordshire, and in 1810 was placed in his father's counting-house, where he remained three years. On expressing his desire to take holy orders, he was sent back to his studies at Sedgley Park, 29 April 1813, and in the following year was removed to St. Mary's College, Oscott, where he was ordained priest in 1820. Soon afterwards he was sent to Cossey Hall, Norfolk, as chaplain to Sir George William Stafford Jerningham, bart., who succeeded to the barony of Stafford in 1824. He arrived at Cossey on 7 July 1820, and by his own desire was provided with a cottage in the village, instead of residing at the Hall, as previous chaplains had done. There he laboured for fifty-two years, and during that period was only three times absent from home on a Sunday. In 1827 he was appointed grand-vicar to Dr. Walsh, vicar-apostolic of the midland district, and in 1841 he opened St. Walstan's chapel at Cossey. In 1850 Pope Pius IX conferred upon him the degree of D.D. After the re-establishment of the Roman catholic hierarchy in England, he was appointed on 24 June 1852 provost of the chapter and vicar-general of the diocese of Northampton, of which Dr. Wareing, his former comrade at Sedgley Park and Oscott, was the first bishop. He was also a member of the brotherhood of the old English chapter, and became its president, in succession to Dr. Rock, shortly before his death. He died at the presbytery adjoining St. Walstan's on 31 Oct. 1872.

His biographer, Canon John Dalton (1814-1874) [q. v.], says he seems to have been 'more adapted for a college life than that of a priest on the mission. He did not keep up sufficiently with the progress of religion,' and 'was, indeed, a priest of the old school.' He was an accomplished antiquary, and one of the most valued contributors to 'Notes and Queries,' in which he wrote 1,305 articles.

Fifty-four works, written, translated, or edited by him, are enumerated in Gillow's Dictionary of the English Catholics. They include many controversial replies to works by George Stanley Faber [q. v.] and numerous poems contributed to catholic periodicals. His chief publications are:

  1. 'Defence of the Creed and Discipline of the Catholic Church against the Rev. J. Blanco White's "Poor Man's Preservative against Popery." With notice of everything important in the same writer's "Practical and Internal Evidence against Catholicism,"' London, 1826, 8vo, 1831, 12mo, translated into German by Professor Klee.
  2. 'Twenty-four Original Songs, written and adapted to German Melodies,' Norwich, 1827, 8vo.
  3. 'Breviarium Romanum suis locis interpositis Officiis Sanctorum Angliæ' 4 vols. London, 1830, 32mo, with permission for publication and use by express rescript of Pius VIII; reprinted, with a supplement, 1835.
  4. 'A Guide for the Wine Cellar; or, a Practical Treatise on the Cultivation of the Vine, and the Management of the different Wines consumed in this Country,' London, 1834, 8vo.
  5. 'The Missal for the use of the Laity,' newly arranged, and in great measure translated, by Husenbeth, London, 1837, 12mo, frequently reprinted.
  6. 'The Vesper Book, for the use of the Laity' London, 1842, 12mo; frequently reprinted.
  7. 'Notices of the English Colleges and Convents established on the Continent after the Dissolution of Religious Houses in England. By the late Hon. Edward Petre,' edited by Husenbeth, Norwich, 1849, 4to. Husenbeth was in reality the author of this useful work.
  8. 'Emblems of Saints: by which they are distinguished in Works of Art,' London, 1850, 8vo; 2nd edit., extended and improved, London, 1860, 12mo; Norwich (Norfolk and Norwich Archæological Society), 1882, 8vo, edited by the Rev. Augustus Jessopp, D.D., from the author's own copy, with large manuscript additions, intended for a third edition, purchased at the sale of his library by Dr. Jessopp.
  9. 'The Holy Bible, translated from the Latin Vulgate,' 2 vols., London, 1853, 4to: based on the edition of the Douay and Rhemes translation of the Scriptures published by the Haydocks [see Haydock, George Leo, and Haydock, Thomas]. The annotations to the original edition are abridged with judgment. Husenbeth is said to have been assisted by Archbishop Folding.
  10. 'The History of Sedgley Park School, Staffordshire,' London, 1856, 8vo.
  11. 'The Convert Martyr, a drama in five acts [and in verse]. Arranged from "Callista" by the Rev. J. H. [afterwards Cardinal] Newman,' London, 1857, 1879, 8vo.
  12. An edition of Alban Butler's 'Lives of the Saints' 2 vols., London, 1857-60, 8vo.
  13. 'The Life of the R.R. Mgr. Weedall, D.D.,' London, 1860, 12mo.
  14. 'The Life of the R.R. John Milner, D.D., Bishop of Castabala,' Dublin, 1862, 8vo.

A manuscript work, 'Memoirs of Parkers; that is, of Persons either educated at Sedgley Park, or connected with it by residence in that establishment, from its foundation in 1763,' 2 vols. 4to, was left by the author to St. Wilfrid's College, Cotton Hall, affiliated to Sedgley Park school. His library, collection of crucifixes, reliquaries, letters, and manuscripts were sold at Norwich on 4 Feb. 1873.

[Memoir prefixed to his funeral sermon by John Dalton, canon of Northampton, London, 1872; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. of the English Catholics; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. x. 365, 388, 441; Oscotian, new ser. iv. 253, v. 30, vi. 59; Husenbeth's Life of Milner, pp. 321, 417; Husenbeth's Hist. of Sedgley Park, p.71; Oliver's Catholic Religion in Cornwall, p.331; Edinburgh Catholic Mag. i. 175, 234; Catholic Miscellany (1826), v.145; Tablet, 1872, ii. 593, 628; Athenæum, 1872, ii. 699.]

T. C.